Giving the Sensory Room a Purpose {Circuit Training}

I am not a huge gym junkie. I’ll go through phases where I’ll join a gym, plan to go daily after school, pack my clothes, and then I’ll find an excuse not to go. When I do make it, I am overwhelmed by the amount of equipment offered to me to use, and the fact that I have no idea what I am supposed to do first, second, third, etc. I have learned that I do much better with a system of workout videos at home that specifically tell me EXACTLY what I need to do. I personally don’t have the time to plan out my work outs, let alone know what muscle I’m working on (I go blank, seriously blank up in my head). I also enjoy workout classes or workout circuits where there is an instructor that already made a plan for me.

At school, we have been blessed with an amazing sensory room, and our equipment list keeps on growing. Lately, I’ve noticed that my kids haven’t been using the equipment like they used to, or they choose “bounce” as a reward for working, but then just stand in the room and don’t do anything.

Alas, we now have this……

Essentially.. this is a work system for the sensory room. The pictures are interchangeable and we have others as well (touch toes, go through tunnel, etc). I did ask out OT for some guidance on the order of activities, and she mentioned have the kiddos get all their bouncing out first, and then have them do more heavy pressure activities (such as the steam roller, erasing the board, and heavy work.

I’ll be totally honest, I did not know what to expect the first time I introduced this to my students. I thought for sure I would have at least one all out refuse to do it. To my surprise, Absolutely LOVED it! We call it “circuit” on the schedule now, and I usually try to have the students start the day with it (one at a time, of course). When they are finished, all of us are quick to praise them on their hard work and comment on their growing muscles – they eat it right up!

All of our equipment have a sheet of “do’s and don’ts” for the students (and the adults monitoring). Below are some examples.

I also love how I have been able to incorporate our heavy work system into the circuit. Below are pictures of the heavy work activities in our classroom. The students organize books (old dictionaries covered with paper) and boxes (filled with blocks – matching by numbers).

Happy training 🙂


  1. Kim @ Mrs. Hs Resource Room on February 17, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I think this is genius! So many times I go into the sensory room with my students and we end up doing the same thing every time or I just draw a blank about what we should do for a sensory break. A circuit is a great idea! I'm going to try this out for sure!
    Mrs. H's Resource Room

    • Mrs. Dixon on February 19, 2015 at 3:21 am

      Thanks Kim! Let me know how it goes!!! 🙂

  2. Pspetralia on February 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Great idea!! What a blessing to have such an amazing sensory room!
    Mrs. P’s Specialties

    • Mrs. Dixon on February 19, 2015 at 3:22 am

      Thank you!!! We love it!! 🙂

  3. Anonymous on February 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    We do not have much else besides therapy balls.What exercise did your students do with the therapy ball? Do you have any other ideas besides the basic touch toes, twists, jumping jacks? Thanks in advance for this fabulous circuit training!

  4. Anonymous on February 18, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I love the idea of carrying to books (heavy work) to the shelf! I am going to add a puzzle component to this by taking a motivating pictures (darth vadar), cutting it into three pieces, and taping to the spine of the book. This adds to the activity the element of carrying the books and ordering them correctly. We shall see how it goes!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.